It’s December. There is no longer any hiding from Christmas and all the silliness that goes with it.
I’m guessing that most of you are thick in the middle of the silliness right now.
If you’ve got kids, school has either finished or you’re spending every second evening at end-of-year concerts.
If you do paid work as well, then there’s a fair chance you’re working your proverbial butt off right now because everything has to be done BY CHRISTMAS.
And hands up who’s getting a gazillion messages, texts and emails from people you haven’t seen all year who simply just have to catch up BEFORE CHRISTMAS?
Yes. Welcome to the mother of all Western world calendar deadlines.
Christmas is a busy time and it can get stressful for a lot of people for a whole lot of reasons.
I’m no stress-less guru but I am going to share some ways about how to cope with stress at Christmas.
These are a combination of things that I do during the festive season but also things I TRY to do.
We’re all human and sometimes just the act of trying to take a chilled approach to the busy-ness will make it feel less stressful.
I’ve got some tips below but before I share them, let me share with you my Secret Stress Weapon.
Secret stress weapon
I have a secret weapon when it comes to protecting against one of the visible signs of stress. And I have everyone (except the youngest) on board with this too.
Remember when I introduced you to the then new deodorant from NIVEA - NIVEA Stress Protect anti-perspirant deodorant- back in April?
I’ve been buying it and we’ve all been using it ever since. Because it works.
The unique antibacterial formula of active ingredients and a zinc complex provides extra protection in stressful situations to help you keep your stress sweating under control. In addition, the formula also includes rich and nutritious avocado oil to care for the delicate underarm skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.
It was like NIVEA was in my head, really understanding what I need – even when I didn’t know I did.
Judging from how much less I now sweat, it’s clear I am primarily an emotional sweater (except when exercising or sitting in a room without air-con on a hot, humid day … then I’m a thermal sweater, yes I am). With this deodorant it’s rare that there is any wetness under my arm pits.
The upside has been less staining of clothes from sweat and a sense of always feeling fresh.
I mostly use the aerosol but always have the roll-on in my handbag. Ditto with Mr SY and the teenagers.
This Christmas will be no exception.
I will keep cool by implementing all the stress-less tips below and my daily NIVEA Stress Protect application will see me through any fighting over the last prawn or devastating discovery that no-one has chilled down the Champagne.
1. Say NO. It’s ok to not accept every invitation that comes your way. In fact, once you practise saying no a few times, it really does feel SO good. This doesn’t mean being a hermit during the festive season – it means not overloading your schedule so much that you just can’t breathe.
2. Accept that when families come together it’s not necessarily going to be perfect. Add in a few too many rum balls and bad bon bon jokes and you have the makings of a potentially explosive situation. Do your part to keep things light and fun by not stirring the pot and pressing any known emotional buttons. Be grateful that you have family to spend the festive season with.
3. Do keep to a budget. I’m a shocker at this. It’s one of the things that I try and improve on every year. Gift buying, decorations, food and drink purchasing … it can all add up to a ridiculous amount of money being spent on one day. I like a treat as much as the next person but if you go overboard in December, the January budgetary hangover is never pleasant.
4. Take time out. If your calendar looks anything like mine, you’re probably having a good old laugh at me right now but I’m deadly serious. Now is not the time to drop your regular exercise routine or to not allow yourself a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday reading your favourite magazine or a new book. In all the madness, you need to find that time for yourself. Even if it’s locking the door and spending five minutes in the shower without any interruptions from partners or little people.
5. Don’t leave everything until the last minute. This is an easy one for anyone who got their stuff sorted back in October. Not so good for those of us who have birthdays and other celebrations right up until December. If you haven’t started organising food, drink and gift buying, do it now. Start with a list and break that list down into manageable daily chunks that you can fit in around your work and family obligations.
6. Shop online. Most days, the only time I have to think about prepping for Christmas is when on the sofa at night with my iPad or laptop. It’s also my most productive time. I can get a Christmas grocery order sorted, my festive season alcohol supply ordered so I just have to pick it up and I can do some gift shopping. No crowds. No carpark madness. Winning.
7. Shop locally. So often, the stress of Christmas can be about finding the perfect gift for those on your gift list (you wrote a list, right?). I get SO much joy out of gift buying and often that’s because I get to fossick and find the unusual and different at my local shops.
8. Wrap as you go. When you leave the job of Christmas wrapping until Christmas Eve, it’s no fun at all. Instead, try and wrap as the gifts arrive at your home.
9. Be grateful every day. Christmas is not always a joyous occasion for all people. For many – myself included – it marks another occasion where loved ones are not there to share it with you. Be thankful for those who are there with you and that you have food to put on the table. It’s the little things really.